Here’s something potentially rather interesting. You know that 17 year old Dutch teenager whom an appreciably large proportion of just about everybody’s newsfeed and/or Letters To The Editor section is jumping up and down about? The one apparently legally euthanized, and therefore how terrible a thing legal euthanasia is we can’t have it here?
Well, apparently … that’s not actually what happened at all. Instead, it appears that what actually transpired was the kid applied for euthanasia, was refused, repeatedly attempted suicide anyway, and then eventually, just straight-up stopped eating/drinking – at which point, her family and medical team finally acquiesced to her wishes, and agreed not to force-feed her, moving her to palliative care.
Now, your mileage may vary as to … well, pretty much this whole thing.
It could certainly be argued that actually having let the child go ‘on her own terms’ prior to all of this, would have been an awful lot less traumatic than having several months worth of repeated suicide attempts, endeavours to have her subjected to electro-shock therapy, before finally conceding that in the absence of ye olde feeding tube down nose, she was going to get her way eventually anyway.
But it seems like, at this point, an array of both news media organizations – and, for that matter, jump-up-and-down-hand-wringing social conservative pseudo-political groups, have deliberately bait-and-switched a story up, in order to try and oppose any meaningful progress on euthanasia law reform in their own countries, riding high off the back of one obviously tortured girl’s personal misery.
I can understand why the idea of the state allowing 17 year olds to put themselves to death would be scary. Because it is. [I personally find the idea of forcing teenagers to carry pregnancies to term to also be rather scary, but then I am over here in the #ProDeath camp, apparently, so once again, YMMV]
But I’m not of the opinion that there’s a very sensible comparison to be made between “we allowed a teenager to access a state-supported facility for getting us to kill them” – which is what everybody seems to think happened;
and “after many months of effort, we stopped attempting to force-feed or otherwise forcibly keep alive against her own wishes, a person”.
It could be argued that the overall outcome is the same. And yeah, sure, one less person on the planet.
But I don’t think that it is. Not really. And not least because only one of these things apparently happened.